YouTube Live: The Ultimate Brand Guide to Live-streaming on YouTube

Bree BrouwerMay 9, 2017 HomeLive Video Streaming

While live streaming has been around for a while now, only in the last year or so has this particular form of online video become immensely popular. In fact, according to livestream, 81% of internet and mobile audiences watched more live video in 2016 than they did in 2015. Additionally, research from MarketsandMarkets predicts the video streaming industry as a whole will be worth around $70 billion by 2021. It should come as no surprise, then, that YouTube has recently upped its game to cater to this burgeoning interest in live video. The platform’s live streaming feature, which last year expanded to mobile devices for select users, has grown rapidly in popularity. For example, Tubular’s recent State of Online Video Q1 2017 report (which you can access below) discovered that publicly available YouTube Live videos with over 25K views drove 6.9 billion views in Q1 2017, an increase of more than 200% over the 2.3 billion views in Q1 2016!

If your brand has yet to experiment with YouTube Live for your video marketing purposes, you’d find no better time than right now. However, before you dive in blindly, you should make sure you’re following some of the best practices for this platform. Doing so will not only help you get the most return on your efforts, but also ensure you’re properly capitalizing on everything YouTube Live has to offer your brand.

The History of YouTube Live

Before we go over some of the best practices for YouTube Live, here’s a primer on how the platform got started, how it’s changed over the years, and just what exactly the live streaming platform entails today.

YouTube Live has a long history……technically, YouTube has been dabbling in live streaming for longer than most of today’s well-known live platforms like Facebook Live and Live.ly. By 2010, Google’s online video giant had already broadcast live events around the world, such as a press conference by then-President Obama and a concert by U2. In this same year, YouTube started testing its live feature with select users, before eventually opening up the platform to everyone. YouTube Live allowed users to immediately start streaming to viewers, or let them pre-schedule streams in advance. YouTube announced in June 2015 it was launching its own gaming destination aptly called YouTube Gaming. This platform arrived in August along with its own live streaming tool, which is essentially just a rebranded version of YouTube’s original streaming feature.

By April 2016, YouTube became the first company to launch support for 360-degree live video. At VidCon in June, Google’s online video site unveiled its plans to expand its proprietary live streaming feature to its mobile app. And by November 2016, YouTube announced support for 4K streams, as well.

Modern-Day YouTube Live

YouTube Live is now available on three different but related platforms: YouTube.com, YouTube Gaming, and the YouTube mobile app. They all work essentially the same, with Google automatically recording and saving live streams of a certain length to the users’ channel once the broadcast is completed. Users can also search for your live streams and find them in related videos and playlists. And you, as the content owner, will be able to use YouTube’s ContentID system to protect your live stream content.

Only a few minor differences separate the functionality and setup of the desktop version of Live from its mobile counterpart. With YouTube Live on the titular site and its gaming equivalent, users can create an impromptu or prescheduled stream. If your brand wants to start broadcasting immediately, all you need to do is select the

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